Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheney Hunting Accident: A Failure to Take Care"?

In the aftermath of Dick Cheney's unfortunate quail hunting accident this past Saturday, AP writer Nedra Pickler reports that not only did Cheney violate Texas game law by failing to buy a hunting stamp, but he also "apparently broke the No. 1 rule of hunting: Be sure of what you're shooting at."

Pickler quotes Mark Birkhauser, president-elect of the International Hunter Education Association and a hunter education coordinator in New Mexico as stating "It's incumbent upon the shooter to assess the situation and make sure it's a safe shot... Once you squeeze that trigger, you can't bring that shot back."

Politinotions has no desire to jump on the Cheney schadenfreude bandwagon -- bad things happen to the best people not at all infrequently -- still, it's hard not to note this unfortunate incident in an allegorical sense as eerily representative of the repeated undue diligence practiced by the current Presidential administration.

In the January 30th issue of the Nation Elizabeth Holtzman, attorney and former Congresswoman, lays out the case for impeachment against George Bush. Amongst the rationales she cites are 1) subverting democracy, 2) warrantless wiretaps, 3) torture & other abuses of power and 4) failure to take care. She writes:
Upon assuming the presidency, Bush took an oath of office in which he swore to take care that the laws would be faithfully executed... Why wasn't the commencement of hostilities postponed until the troops were properly outfitted? There are numerous suggestions that the timing was prompted by political, not military, concerns. The United States was under no imminent threat of attack by Saddam Hussein, and the Administration knew it. They delayed the marketing of the war until Americans finished their summer vacations because "you don't introduce new products in August." As the Downing Street memo revealed, the timeline for the war was set to start thirty days before the 2002 Congressional elections...

And there was no serious plan for the aftermath of the war, a fact also noted in the Downing Street memo. The President's failure as Commander in Chief to protect the troops by arming them properly, and his failure to plan for the occupation, cost dearly in lives and taxpayer dollars. This was not mere negligence or oversight--in other words, maladministration--but reflected a reckless and grotesque disregard for the welfare of the troops and an utter indifference to the need for proper governance of a country after occupation. As such, these failures violated the requirements of the President's oath of office. If they are proven to be the product of political objectives, they could constitute impeachable offenses on those grounds alone.
"Once you squeeze that trigger, you can't bring that shot back," said Birkhauser. Indeed. That's exactly why there are processes in place to revoke the licenses of irresponsible hunters...